3 days in New York

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As I spent a lot of this Labor Day weekend watching the US Open, I got serious green tennis ball colored envy.  I need to go to Flushing, NY stat (my friend goes every year, I have no excuse).  I mean, what a perfect way to spend a long weekend, exploring the last few days of summer in the city and then enjoying Primetime tennis!  Until I make it there, all I can do is dream of past New York adventures.

concrete jungle where dreams are made.

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know before you go: JFK

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I have a complex relationship with JFK, as I do with LAX.  Being the two most populous international arrival airports, they should be more inviting and welcoming than they are.  Instead, customs lines are long, people aren’t the friendliest, and they both could be cleaner for sure.  Plus, at JFK, you have to leave security to go terminal to terminal!  There’s no way that’s not confusing to a foreign visitor, or even to a local for that matter.

Perhaps we’re trying to give foreign visitors a picture of what America’s truly like?  Confusing and crowded and sweaty.  At least it’s still better than LaGuardia?

JFK is located in Queens, about 16 miles south of Manhattan.  There are 6 terminals with about 128 gates.  Terminal one serves a bevy of international carriers (Air France, Korean, Lufthansa, JAL, Turkish, Norwegian, WOWAir, Alitalia, Air China, China Eastern).  Terminal 2 is for Delta, Four is for Delta and Skyteam (including Aeromexico, China Airlines, China Southern, KLM; JetBlue, Emirates, Etihad, Singapore and Virgin amongst many others).  Terminal 5 is a club in NYC and it also serves JetBlue.  Terminal 7 has British Airways, Alaska, LOT, Icelandair and Qatar.  Terminal 8 is for American.

Remember: ✈️ = ny i love you but you’re bringing me down to ✈️✈️✈️✈️✈️ = welcome to new york (it’s been waiting for you)

Transportation to the airport:  ✈️✈️✈️✈️ (metro, bus, taxi, car, airporter, lots of options)

Ease of navigating through terminals: ✈️ (just the fact that you have to exit and re-enter security sucks)

Convenience of security lines: ✈️✈️ (it goes as fast as it can with the sheer volume of passenger traffic; customs lines can be brutal here)

Dining: ✈️✈️✈️ (there’s lots of options, but it’s inconsistent; like some terminals have McDonald’s and Starbucks, some don’t.  Some have Peet’s and don’t get me started, eesh.  7-Eleven in a few, and Terminal 4 has two Shake Shacks while the others don’t have any.  Some have Dunkin Donuts and Buffalo Wild Wings/Panda Express!  Why so cruel, JFK?  And since it’s NY, so I’m kind of expecting elevated dining, but there isn’t much beyond fast casual)

Bathrooms: ✈️✈️ (please don’t judge us by the bathrooms in this airport)

Charging stations/wifi: ✈️✈️ (free wifi — didn’t always used to be the case)

Amenities: ✈️✈️✈️ (again, inconsistent luxury shopping between international terminals.  Tumi, Cartier, Hermes, Mont Blanc — do people need last minute fountain pens as gifts? Good luck in Terminal 2, there’s like a Best Buy kiosk for shopping and that’s it.  Lots of international flights means lots of lounges {except for the last one shutting down in Terminal 5}, but don’t expect any yoga or meditation/prayer rooms in this airport, there’s no real estate for that)

3 days in Toronto feat. Niagara Falls

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Well, the NBA is making moves.  Toronto is a bit cooler than San Antonio, so be like Kawhi and start planning your trip up north.

As far as bucket lists go, Niagara Falls is typically a popular featured destination, for good reason.  It’s one of the most beautiful natural wonders of the world, and it’s right in our own backyard.  *Whispers: the Canadian side is better. Sore-y, not sore-y.

Oh Canada…

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wanderlust, the best Valentine’s lust of all

Hopefully love is in the air (or the sea or the train) or wherever you may be this St. Valentine’s.  And if not, well then you can always continue your wanderlust for travel and adventure, the best kind of lust in my opinion.

V-Day is right smack dab in the middle of the week this year, but it’s never too early to start planning a long, romantic weekend getaway for next year…maybe choose one of these sweet spots:

New Orleans. This magical city is teeming with dark mystery and romance.  How better to cuddle up on a winter’s night than to snuggle arm in arm along the gas lantern-lit cobblestone alleys whilst boozing it up and eating the most decadent food?  And extra points for it being Mardi Gras this time of year, so there’s a ton of stuff for singletons, too.

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Bali.  This is a top honeymoon destination for a reason.  Secluded and sexy, there’s lush landscapes and privacy abound.  Everyone loves an island rendezvous.

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New York.  If only to meet your love at the top of the Empire State Building.  Watch for traffic before you cross the street though.  (Please tell me at least someone understands this reference, the original movie, not Sleepless in Seattle–also a classic rom com).

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Tokyo/Kyoto.  Lovers in Japan, indeed.  The best way to get to really know someone is to explore a foreign country with them, specifically a place where you can’t read or speak the language.  If you can get through it unscathed, then you should probably hold on to this person forever.

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Cape Town.  Overwhelming views from the top of Table Mountain and V&A Waterfront will fill your heart.  The city offers couples everything they could want, luxurious digs, celebrated wineries, horseback riding/outdoor activities, and popular open air cinemas (especially crowded on Valentine’s).

Paris.  The City of Love may be cliche, but it is that way for a reason.  It’s a city of creatives and dreamers and there’s inspiration on every block.  Everything from the food and wine, the music, the scenery and the history is seductive.  If you’re not in love, you’ll definitely feel it here.

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And of course, probably the most romantic city, or rather, country is Italy.  Venice, Florence, Rome, Tuscany?  There could be nothing more charming, nothing that sets ones heart afire like an Italian escape.

And you may ask, why no pictures?  Well that’s because I’m headed back to Italy in about a week so there will be pictures to come.  Ciao bellas, that’s amore!

3 days in New York

Picture 002.jpg

As I spent a lot of this Labor Day weekend watching the US Open, I got serious green tennis ball colored envy.  I need to go to Flushing, NY stat (my friend goes every year, I have no excuse).  I mean, what a perfect way to spend a long weekend, exploring the last few days of summer in the city and then enjoying Primetime tennis!  Until I make it there, all I can do is dream of past New York adventures.

concrete jungle where dreams are made.

Continue reading

3 days in Toronto feat. Niagara Falls

IMG_8572.jpg

As far as bucket lists go, Niagara Falls is typically a popular featured destination, for good reason.  I can’t believe I’d never been until now!  It’s one of the most beautiful natural wonders of the world, and it’s right in our own backyard.  *Whispers: the Canadian side is better. Sore-y, not sore-y.

Of all of the places I’ve been in our great neighbor to the north, Canada, I had never made it to the eastern side of the country.  But, with all of my immediate family out of the country for Thanksgiving, no time was better to seize the moment and head across the border to Toronto.  I traded turkey for Tim Hortons, and I regret nothing.

Oh Canada…

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